Who said: "To make a library it takes two volumes and a fire. Two volumes and a fire, and interest. The interest alone will do if logs are few."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

To make a library
It takes two volumes
And a fire.
Two volumes and a fire,
And interest.
The interest alone will do
If logs are few.

- Carolyn Wells (The Rest of My Life)

American poet and author Carolyn Wells (1862-1942) penned more than 170 books including an autobiography, The Rest of My Life. After leaving school she worked as a librarian in her hometown of Rahway, New York for twelve years until becoming sufficiently successful as a writer that she was able to resign to focus on her literary career. She started out writing poetry, humor and children's books, but soon gravitated towards mysteries, producing a great many, including more than 60 books in the Fleming Stone Detective series.

Today, she is probably best known for her limericks and humorous poems, such as:

The Tutor
A tutor who tooted a flute
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor:
"Is it harder to toot, or
To tutor two tooters to toot?"


The Arch Armadillo
There once was an arch Armadillo
Who built him a hut 'neath a willow;
He hadn't a bed
So he rested his head
On a young Porcupine for a pillow.


The Happy Hyena
There once was a happy Hyena
Who played on an old concertina.
He dressed very well,
And in his lapel
He carelessly stuck a verbena.


The Musical Carp
There once was a corpulent carp
Who wanted to play on a harp,
But to his chagrin
So short was his fin
That he couldn't reach up to C sharp.


The Smiling Shark
There was an old Shark with a smile
So broad you could see it a mile.
He said to his friends,
As he sewed up the ends,
"It was really too wide for the style."


A Bicycle Built for Two

There was an ambitious young eel
Who determined to ride on a wheel;
But try as he might,
He couldn't ride right,
In spite of his ardor and zeal.

If he sat on the saddle to ride
His tail only pedalled one side;
And I'm sure you'll admit
That an eel couldn't sit
On a bicycle saddle astride.

Or if he hung over the top,
He could go, but he never could stop;
For of course it is clear
He had no way to steer,
And under the wheel he would flop.

His neighbor, observing the fun,
Said, "I think that the thing can be done,
If you'll listen to me,
You'll quickly agree
That two heads are better than one.

"And this is my project, old chap,
Around our two waists I will wrap
This beautiful belt
Of bottle-green felt
And fasten it firm with a strap."

This done, with a dignified mien
The two squirmed up on the machine,
And rode gayly away,
Or at least, so they say,
Who witnessed the wonderful scene.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Blue Sky Kingdom
    Blue Sky Kingdom
    by Bruce Kirkby
    Who hasn't dreamed of escaping all of the trappings of today's modern life and finding a secluded, ...
  • Book Jacket: My Heart Underwater
    My Heart Underwater
    by Laurel Fantauzzo
    Corazon — Cory — Tagubio is a Filipina-American teenager living with her family in ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Sun
    Black Sun
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Reading the first book in a series is always difficult because readers know that, by definition, it ...
  • Book Jacket: Somewhere in the Unknown World
    Somewhere in the Unknown World
    by Kao Kalia Yang
    Resettled refugees are mostly invisible. Their needs are rarely publicized and their struggles are ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Smallest Lights in the Universe
    by Sara Seager

    A luminous memoir by an MIT astrophysicist who must reinvent herself in the wake of tragedy.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win This Book!
Win Jack

Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller

Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I G I O Ear A O T O

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.